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Old 07-22-2005, 09:22 AM   #31
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Originally posted by financeguy


Well, criticism is not anti-democratic, it's just if you raise issues from Livingstone's past (incidentally I wouldn't have voted for him myself but that's besides the point), don't be surprised if people bring up dodgy issues from the pasts of people associated with the Bush Administration - be it the aforementioned Mr Chalabi, their anointed candidate for the leadership of Iraq (he didn't last too long in that role), or certain figures working for the administration that have had similarly dodgy pasts, including one or two that actually received Presidential pardons.

That is the point I am making.
Past? Going on Arab TV to defend him, that happened just last year, and he reaffirmed his position just a few days ago ~ along with some standard Israel bashing to appeal to the base. This is not old news, it is a consistent position that has not changed one bit.
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:24 AM   #32
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Originally posted by Irvine511
can't agree with you there. i really balk at the use of the word "imperialism" as what is going on today has little to do with 19th century imperialism. how do you define it?

while oil is always a consideration due to it's centrality to the stability of markets, i really think you've missed the mark if you think it's only about oil, or even centrally about oil, or even partially about oil. a million-and-one different factors go into any and all US (and UK, and any other country) foreign policy decisions, and to reduce a specific action like the invasion of Iraq or Afghanistan to a monocausal (and always very, very vauge) explanation like "oil" or the even more vauge "imperialism" is evidence of really simplistic thinking, imho.

i also think you've misapplied "appeasement" in this context.

i am also a big critic of Iraq, but changing policy as a response to terrorists attacks (which would probably have happened anyway) is not, i don't think, a way to prevent future attacks. and i think that the Left needs to form a more hard-core, focused argument than hysterics about these catch-all phrases like "oil" or "imperialism." surely there are a multitude of reasons why Iraq was a bad idea. let's focus on those instead of the easy slogans.
Imperialism - well, how else is the image of the soldier putting the Stars and Stripes over the statue of Saddam to be interpreted, particularly when seen through the eyes of the Arab world?

Simplistic thinking to say it's about oil? No, I disagree. It is about oil though not necessarily in an OBVIOUS sense. I see it as being about sending a message to new world powers - particularly China - that 'the West' is prepared to go to war to protect oil resources. If you can come up with less 'simplistic' analyses, I'm all ears!

In relation to your references to the left, it is interesting that those with a certain view on issues such as Iraq are assumed to be on the left. I do not identify myself as being on the left, and would resist the label.

Are you aware that numerous leading members of the former United Kingdom CONSERVATIVE government expressed reservations about the Iraq war?

I do not see the neo-conservatives as true conservatives, incidentally, rather I would see them as radicals.
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:27 AM   #33
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
along with some standard Israel bashing to appeal to the base.
Israel bashing...ah yes, that is when a public figure dares to suggest Israel isn't perfect. Why do you say 'Israel bashing' appeals to his base? Is the London electorate anti-Israel?
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:28 AM   #34
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I ask do you feel good about yourself in opposing the war in Iraq?
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:29 AM   #35
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


And anyone who supports him is an uncompassionate, war-mongering idiot.
Exactly!

Sheesh, you and I are the only ones with the program, 80s.
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:33 AM   #36
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
I ask do you feel good about yourself in opposing the war in Iraq?
It is not a question about feeling good or feeling bad about oneself in opposing the war in Iraq. It is about analysis and cool heads. I have seen little since the invasion that demonstrates it was a good idea, and a lot that demonstrates it was a bad idea, at least done in the manner it was done.

I know exactly where you're going with this argument, it's the old 'ah some people are hoping the war will fail' argument, and it doesn't wash. My view is entirely immaterial to the success or otherwise of the war, it is just a view, that is all.
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:35 AM   #37
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Originally posted by financeguy


Imperialism - well, how else is the image of the soldier putting the Stars and Stripes over the statue of Saddam to be interpreted, particularly when seen through the eyes of the Arab world?

Simplistic thinking to say it's about oil? No, I disagree. It is about oil though not necessarily in an OBVIOUS sense. I see it as being about sending a message to new world powers - particularly China - that 'the West' is prepared to go to war to protect oil resources. If you can come up with less 'simplistic' analyses, I'm all ears!

In relation to your references to the left, it is interesting that those with a certain view on issues such as Iraq are assumed to be on the left. I do not identify myself as being on the left, and would resist the label.

Are you aware that numerous leading members of the former United Kingdom CONSERVATIVE government expressed reservations about the Iraq war?

I do not see the neo-conservatives as true conservatives, incidentally, rather I would see them as radicals.


Iraq represents something new -- i don't quite know what it is yet, but i think that the US in the 20th century is not at all like the UK of the 19th, so i don't know where "US imperialism" (stated as if this has been an ongoing project for some time now) comes from. as for the flag over Saddam, a battle had just ended. give me a break. don't read more into it than was there. was it tacky? yes. was it indicative of a secret conspiracy? no.

i agreed that oil was a consideration, but you yourself said it was about "oil" and "US imperialism." sending a message to china -- as they themselves work out contracts with Iran -- was certainly a consideration, i'm sure, but far, far from the most important. my point is that it's really easy to scream "NO BLOOD FOR OIL" or "NO IMPERIALISM" -- and believe me, i've been to several Left Wing rallies in Europe, and this type of idiot-speak poisons the whole demonstration, i think.

as for other motivations for the invasion of Iraq, i'll give you some:

1. the benefits of setting up a democracy in the Middle East
2. a Hussein-free Iraq would ensure the safety of Saudi Arabia and allow the US to get their airplanes out of Saudi Arabia (remember: this was one of OBL's justifications for attacking the WTC)
3. the engineering of a middle class within Iraq that has a vested interest in the stability of society -- Tom Friedman has his "McDonalds Theory," where countries that are stable enough to have a McDonalds don't go to war with each other
4. scare the shit out of Iran and Syria -- send the message that, "we'll invade you too" -- kind of the "Crazy Ivan" theory
5. send a message to the UN that resolutions must be backed up with force in order for the UN to actually be more effective in the future
6. attempt to reverse/make amends for the US Cold War-era policy of supporting the worst of the worst of dictators, so long as they were anti-Communist

now, you can agree or disagree with any of these reasons. you can come up with all sorts of arguments agains them, or point out how the policy as it was implemented (and coupled with an appaling lack of post-war planning) was not ideal for achieving these goals. you can argue that the scare-the-shit-out-of-Americans via the boogeyman of WMDs is indcative of a really weak rationale to begin with. and i'd agree with you.

all i'm saying is that it's much, much more complicated than "oil" and "imperialism."

and, please, what do you mean by "imperialism"?
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:40 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
and, please, what do you mean by "imperialism"?
Project for a New American Century - PNAC, it's all there in print. Read up on it yourself if you don't believe me.

I think you greatly, greatly underestimate the importance of oil to a functioning economy. Looking at this current US administration, it has more oil industry experience than any other in history, ever.

Now here is some reading material regarding further extensions of US power, draw your own conclusion:-

http://www.irishexaminer.com/pport/w...OWirIStPSk.asp
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:50 AM   #39
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Project for a New American Century - PNAC, it's all there in print. Read up on it yourself if you don't believe me.

I think you greatly, greatly underestimate the importance of oil to a functioning economy. Looking at this current US administration, it has more oil industry experience than any other in history, ever.


i agree about the importance of oil to an economy, but i don't agree with the primacy of oil to the invasion of Iraq.

i am well aware of neo-con plotting and their various think tanks. i deplore them, but i don't think they're all-powerful.

i also don't buy into the insinuation that the current administration is simply a mechanism through which PNAC is controling the world. don't buy into quick and easy conspiracy theories, even if a political think tank wants you to believe that they have more power than they actually have.
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:51 AM   #40
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Originally posted by financeguy


It is not a question about feeling good or feeling bad about oneself in opposing the war in Iraq. It is about analysis and cool heads. I have seen little since the invasion that demonstrates it was a good idea, and a lot that demonstrates it was a bad idea, at least done in the manner it was done.

I know exactly where you're going with this argument, it's the old 'ah some people are hoping the war will fail' argument, and it doesn't wash. My view is entirely immaterial to the success or otherwise of the war, it is just a view, that is all.
No I was not, I am saying that as a concequence at least 25 thousand Iraqi civilians have been killed; men, women and children (like that young girl covered in blood at a checkpoint, one of many no doubt) ~ I do not think that that is something to be happy about, but at the same time the complete and utter failure to acknowledge the damage inflicted upon the Iraqi people by Saddam Hussein leading right up to the war is staggering. Since the war the human rights abuses of the regime are all out there for people to see; the records of executions, the videos of the dungeons where the mukhabarat tortured their victims ~ heads and hands being chopepd off, beatings with canes, summary executions, the mass graves (hundreds of thousands of bodies, in the north and south of the country).

It is not a post-bellum justification for war, the silent killing was pertinent all through the 1990's as the country was starved and the threat kept in place.

As responsibility for the tens of thousands of dead civilians rests on the shoulders of the coalition and those who supported the war should there not be some token of recognition to the cost of "stability" in the region by prolonging Saddams reign. An acknowledgement that there was a heavy toll for the policy of containment. Boiling it all down to 'war bad', 'peace good' argument or excusing the sins of Saddam because "imperialism" is bad is just not looking at the modern history of Iraq and the problems related to it ~ from WMD proliferation, UN corruption to Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

When you post about how life was better under Saddam have you weighted your view against the carnage he inflicted?
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:53 AM   #41
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Originally posted by financeguy

Now here is some reading material regarding further extensions of US power, draw your own conclusion:-

http://www.irishexaminer.com/pport/w...OWirIStPSk.asp


i think you're missing the forest for the trees.

this sounds like the internationalization of the Patriot Act.

that can be argued about, and deplored, but i don't think this is some kind of mind-control project.
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Old 07-22-2005, 10:01 AM   #42
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Originally posted by Irvine511
i think you're missing the forest for the trees.

this sounds like the internationalization of the Patriot Act.

that can be argued about, and deplored, but i don't think this is some kind of mind-control project.
'Missing the forest for the trees' - ok, so I shouldn't be concerned about my civil liberties, they're not important?

'Internationalization of the Patriot Act' - precisely! And you would argue that this does not provide some 'prima facie' evidence of imperialistic designs? I'm afraid I would have to disagree. If you don't like the word 'imperialism' or would prefer a different word because you feel it has been hi-jacked by the knee-jerk anti-American left, fair enough.
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Old 07-22-2005, 10:04 AM   #43
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
When you post about how life was better under Saddam have you weighted your view against the carnage he inflicted?
I would have to assess the annual death rate under Saddam and compare it with the post-invasion death rate to compare, overall it is probably still too early to make a balanced assessment, perhaps in another year this can be done.
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Old 07-22-2005, 10:06 AM   #44
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Originally posted by financeguy


'Missing the forest for the trees' - ok, so I shouldn't be concerned about my civil liberties, they're not important?

'Internationalization of the Patriot Act' - precisely! And you would argue that this does not provide some 'prima facie' evidence of imperialistic designs? I'm afraid I would have to disagree. If you don't like the word 'imperialism' or would prefer a different word because you feel it has been hi-jacked by the knee-jerk anti-American left, fair enough.


maybe that's it. i might just need a new word.

i agree with your concerns about the Patriot Act -- however, i don't see this is a global domination theory, especially those i heard spoken about so many times while hanging out in pubs with grad students at the U of Edinburgh or Cambridge. you know, the kinds of people who said, post 9-11, "well, because of imperialism, you had it coming."

sorry, but i cannot accept that kind of blinkered thinking.

you had it coming?

garbage.
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Old 07-22-2005, 10:10 AM   #45
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Originally posted by Irvine511
"well, because of imperialism, you had it coming."

sorry, but i cannot accept that kind of blinkered thinking.

you had it coming?

garbage.
I agree that kind of thinking is blinkered. Cambridge students have a reputation for being lefties, I didn't realise Edinburgh was like that.
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